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WHAT IS AND WHAT ISN'T TRUE ABOUT SCIENTOLOGY
|WHAT IS: In the old days, Ron was basically
honest with his course students. Occasionally he exaggerated or got carried away with himself or downplayed something,
but he was not busily concocting lies or making up stories.
WHAT ISN'T: The various little biographical sketches placed in the books were highly inaccurate and were not written by Ron. His overt was in ignoring all the stuff that his staff was putting out. He really didn't care what they told the public. He was annoyed at society for ignoring his big discoveries and saw himself in competition with the heavy outpouring of false advertisement from big business.
The "Story of Dianetics and Scientology" tape that is available at the Scientology website is just one example of what he would really say to his students. Of course he shows himself in a good light, but he doesn't make false claims about having a degree in Nuclear Physics either. Quite the opposite.
Concerning that silly Nuclear Physics degree, someone in the org's PR department got the Academy of Scientology to issue an honorary degree in Nuclear Physics to Ron when they put out the Radiation book. He thought it was very funny and makes jokes about it with the students in his next lecture.
Concerning "Snake" Thompson (the unauthorized biographies claim that he was made up by Ron), the guy really did exist and he wrote a book called "The Navy Operations Manual on Psychoanalysis". It was used in the Navy in WW2 and is probably the underlying source for the popular picture of pleasant and sensible Freudian analysts in the military which we get from shows like "MASH". It was a very good and practical book and was reprinted as a popular paperback in the late 1950s. I think it even uses phrases like "This is an operation manual for the human mind" and includes techniques on regression therapy etc. I had a copy back around 1963 and it was the best book on psychoanalysis that I have ever read. Unfortunately, it was tossed along with loads of other psych books when I became fanatically inspired by LRH tech a few years later. If I'd known, I'd have hung on to it.
In the book, the commander discusses studying with Freud in Vienna and then going to various military bases in Asia to experiment with the techniques. I think that the timing was right for Ron to bump into him while sailing back to the US.
The org doesn't seem to be digging out this book and holding it up to prove Ron's story. Perhaps it has a bit too much of early Dianetics in it. Or more likely, he got the guy's name wrong. It has been over 30 years since I read the book and I'm not sure but it could have been by Commander Thomas something or other ("Snake" is obviously a nickname). The org wouldn't dare bring it up if Ron misremembered the man's name since a Clear should have perfect recall and since Ron was supposed to have studied with him instead of simply talking with him a bit (and maybe getting a copy of his book) during a long sea voyage.
WHAT IS: The unauthorized biographies of LRH are generally accurate as to verifiable facts but are badly slanted in terms of the stories they contain. Much of the material came from people who were very upset and pissed off at Ron and Scientology. They often had been abused and mistreated, but this makes them a very biased source and there is a tendency to exaggerate, make up things, and only tell one side of the story.
WHAT ISN'T: The SO can't really correct any of the inaccuracies or tell the other side of any of the stories because then they would have to admit all the bad things that really did happen.
Let's take, for example, Otto Roos' story about Ron demanding to see his own PC folders. Its not quite right. Ron ordered that his PC folders be taken away from Otto and carried to the Qual Sec (the Scientology name for the chief of quality control in a Scientology organization) for her to examine rather than looking at them himself. You might not think this is a big point but it is of significance to church members because the inaccurate story makes Ron seem hypocritical (PCs aren't supposed to look at their own folders).
However, Ron did indeed punch Otto and he did indeed have Rock Slam type discreditable meter reads (he freely talks about this on earlier Briefing Course tapes) and the org doesn't want to confirm any of that.
WHAT IS: In later times (1970s), Ron was notorious for his screaming rages.
WHAT ISN'T: This was not purely reactive. He had it firmly under control. There are many stories where somebody else would walk by and Ron would break off in mid-yell to give them a soft and pleasant "Hello, how are you" before jacking the decibels back up and resuming the attack.
I don't think this was a good way to handle people. It was based on a mistaken idea that you handle other people's bank (meaning the reactive bank or reactive mind) by exerting more force at them than the bank does. He would never have said that in the early days. Force begets force and causes the target to key-in more heavily. If force helped people, police states would be therapeutic. This wrong idea was simply his way of justifying to himself that he was correct in launching these tirades.
Here we see the real difference between a cleared and an uncleared individual. Before clear, the rage would have been a stimulus response blind rage that was out of control. After clear, it is all quite conscious and supposedly well thought out and is actually under the individual's control. None the less, the desire to throw that shrieking fit is not at all handled by going clear, and the impulse is quite abberated. In this case, I see the aberrations as coming from the mental charge that was bypassed by making errors in researching what, after all, is one of the most difficult subjects to figure out correctly.
WHAT IS: The first Clear to graduate the clearing course in the mid-1960s was John MacMasters (affectionately refereed to as "John Mac"). He had had cancer and had his stomach removed and was told that he only had a year to live back around 1960. He responded by getting into Scientology and auditing and training as hard as he could and was in much better shape and even capable of eating real food instead of gruel by the late 60s. He used to go around on world tours promoting Scientology and the clearing course.
WHAT ISN'T: He didn't like the Sea Org. They mistreated him. He had other interests. They called this "other intention-ness" and tried to put him in lower ethics conditions. He walked out. They declared him suppressive. He had been a known homosexual, but they could not use this directly at that time because there were many homosexuals in Scientology. So instead, they declared him for putting himself in a position where he could be blackmailed (supposedly for being a secret homosexual even though that was an "everybody knows" situation) because they didn't want to talk about his real reasons for leaving. This was sometime in the early 70s.
Later he became very bitter and said nasty things about his earlier experiences with Hubbard, but in the 1965-68 period he really loved the subject and would do anything for Ron. The love turned to hate after too much contact with later Sea Org craziness and that's what we hear in his later statements. He did well for quite awhile after leaving, but eventually he passed away. He used to talk about how he really wanted to drop his surgically mutilated body and go find a teenager in a coma in a hospital (because the thetan would have left) and pick right up again without all the troubles of having to reincarnate as a baby.
WHAT IS: The CofS is currently anti-homosexual. Practicing homosexuals are currently blocked from upper levels.
WHAT ISN'T: This was not the case until sometime in the 1980s. The only early reference by Ron was that thetans basically don't have a sex (there aren't male and female thetans). It was believed that people became homosexual due to mental charge of some sort (such as a bad incident that might need to be run out), but when this charge was removed, they tended to become bi-sexual (no longer blocked from heterosexual relations) rather than abandoning homosexuality.
There was even an idea circulating among staff in the 1960s that everyone should try a homosexual experience once just to get your TRs in on it (in other words, get your confront up on it). I know a few who tried it on this basis, and even one girl who decided that she liked being gay better. However, most of us (including myself) felt that just because you hadn't screwed a gorilla, it didn't mean that you had to go and do it just to get your TRs in. Even so, the place was liberal and safe for alternative lifestyles. The idea of removing mental charge was that nobody would be prejudiced or much bothered by anything as long as no one was getting hurt.
WHAT IS: The Sea Org is currently pushing a very conservative sexual morality. SO members can be put into liability (a lower ethics condition with amends projects etc.) for sleeping with someone outside of marriage.
WHAT ISN'T: This is again the reverse of the early attitude which was exceedingly liberal. Basically, there were no rules until the 1965 policy "Student's guide to acceptable behavior" and the sexual rules in this were canceled in 1967 by the policy "New Second Dynamic Rules" (the first dynamic is self, the second dynamic is sex/family/children, the third dynamic is groups, etc.) which says there are no rules except that ethics can hold you responsible if you mess up somebody's case.
Sometime in the 1970s, a Flag Order came out forbidding extra-marital sex by SO members. This was probably issued originally for reasons of PR, but since they are under these restrictions, they try and use this flag order on non-SO Scientologists. The result is a confusing mixture of the Flag Order, the 1965 policy, and the 1967 policy (which was never canceled but tends to be hidden from the membership).
Interestingly enough, when they started pushing strict sexual mores, an LRH technical bulletin came out called "Pain and Sex". This is actually from the 1952 tapes (see the technique 88 lectures) and is out of context. Pain and sex were indeed bundled up together by implants and thetans have committed many overts in the area, but Ron's advise at that time was not to abandon sex but simply to run out the incidents.
WHAT IS: The E-meter (a sort of lie detector) is used to do security checks on Scientologists. These "sec checks" are lists of possible overts (crimes etc.) which are called off while watching the meter for reactions so as to discover anything the person is withholding.
WHAT ISN'T: This wasn't designed to gain blackmailing material or to find out what a bad guy the PC was so as to bar him from further services. It was actually indented as a means of finding out the guy's overts and processing them to relieve the mental charge and free him from the overt/motivate sequence (the Scientology equivalent of Karma). Even in modern times they try to clean up the charge rather than simply finding out what he's done. On this basis, this could be considered to be a positive auditing action meant to better the person.
I personally had an extremely big gain while being run on a sec check once. The topic that produced the big result was implanting others. All of the current OT levels are highly motivatorish (a motivate is what happens to you as a result of the overts you have committed - a sort of karma). They address what has been done to the person instead of what he has done and this was known to be a mistake as early as 1952. A thetan could never have been implanted in the first place unless he had intentions to implant others sometime in the past (perhaps to make others good or keep them under control). The smart thing to do would be to have the PC run something like "Recall implanting another" somewhere on the OT levels. Since this is not done, the deficiency is to some slight degree remedied by means of sec checking. But its going the long way around. There are much better processes on grade 2 for handling guilt and overts. Instead, they hound people endlessly with these sec checks.
WHAT IS: In the 1960s, the sanctity of the confessional and the confidentiality of PC folders and the idea that whatever had been run out was therefore gone and should not be held against the person or even considered were all pushed as being of absolute importance. In ancient times, priests have let themselves be shot and their churches burned down rather than ever reveal or use anything told in a confessional. In the old days, we saw this as being more important than the survival of any Scientology organization because it was a key point in the survival of the entire subject. You would let an org collapse rather than using anything revealed in PC folders because if you did violate this, it would become unsafe for the PCs to run out their overts and it would permanently block the entire subject.
WHAT ISN'T: This has been grossly violated in modern Scientology. The first mistake was the idea of looking over the PC folders of someone who was being declared suppressive to see if he had made any gains (because no case gain was a suppressive trait). This evolved into checking the folder's of declared SPs for overts and withholds (this was considered acceptable because of the Fair Game law). It kept getting worse. Eventually, even the registrars (the org's salesmen) began looking through folders, supposedly with the excuse that they were double checking that the person had gotten all the hours of auditing they had paid for but really to get buttons to push on the person to get them to buy their next service. If there was ever a justifiable reason for declaring someone a suppressive, this would be it (just kidding, I really think you should straighten people out instead of throwing them out).
WHAT IS: Sec checks are often mis-audited, mis-used, and overrun endlessly when they are not the correct case action for the PC. There are times when they can do somebody some good, but not when they are run unnecessarily (especially at high prices) or audited in an accusative manner (which seems to be popular these days), and most especially not if you then send the person to ethics and "handle" the overts that have already been erased (that almost guarantees that the person will start committing overts). Because of this, the technology itself is unpopular and keeps being renamed, being called, at various times, Hubbard Confessionals, Integrity Processing, and the False Purpose Rundown.
WHAT ISN'T: Nowadays, they tell the PC "I'm not auditing you" in a ridiculous attempt to keep the PC from feeling that the safety of auditing has been violated. Maybe I'll put on a sign that says "I'm not really driving" the next time a cop tries to pull me over for a speeding ticket.
Sometimes something would come up that really would have to be handled in Ethics. For example, the PC has a kilo of pot in his closet and now that we have gotten him to swear off drugs, he's going to start selling it on the street to pay for his auditing. In such cases, I would hand carry the PC folder over to the Ethics officer myself and give him a lecture about maintaining the safety of auditing. The PC must not be made wrong or told to make amends. He should just be talked to in a reasonable way and coaxed into doing the right thing. You would expect a good ethics officer to know this, but often they did not have enough auditor training.
WHAT IS: Scientology administrative staff are not trained in the technology of Scientology. They are trained in organizational policy instead. An early 70s Policy letter started this. Sometimes you do get someone who has trained on both sides of the fence, but its contrary to the normal way things are done.
WHAT ISN'T: Most Scientology staff (only a small percentage work as auditors) have no real idea what Scientology IS except for some shallow beginner's level stuff and promotional BS. They are working on some sort of a vague purpose to save the world without having much of a clue as to what it is all about.
In the old days, an organization would often boom when they made all their staff train as auditors. Of course you can't just take an auditor who knows nothing else and put him on a management post without any training in his job. But knowing the technology of the mind is what Scientology is all about. As far as I'm concerned, a Scientology executive who has not also trained as an auditor isn't really a Scientologist (in the fullest sense), doesn't have any idea what he is doing, and tends to screw things up. On a new staff member, the lack of training in the subject is understandable, it takes time to learn things. But if he isn't studying the technology like mad, then what is doing there? The only answers are religious fanaticism (big Ron in the sky will solve all the guys problems for him?) or he's hoping to gain money or power or something.
WHAT IS: The org's registrars are really big league salesmen with worse behavior than the most extreme of the used car salespeople. They push buttons endlessly, hound people and threaten them with ethics, make false promises and try to get people to mortgage their lives away to raise the money to pay the orgs high prices. There are exceptions, especially when you get far away from the Flag organization (the closer they are to "Source", the worse they get), but they live on big commissions so that ethical behavior is invalidated and out-ethics is praised.
WHAT ISN'T: It doesn't have to be this way. At one time there was a policy that "Only Accounts Talks Money" and the regs were forbidden to discuss it. Also, they did not receive any sales commissions. This kept them a bit more honest. The better ones stuck to their real job which was to explain what services where available and encourage people to do them.
By the way, standard org finance policy is to never borrow money but always pay cash (except that you may have to borrow money to promote with to get a business out of emergency, but you don't borrow for anything else). This is a good policy. Its an overt to talk people into doing the opposite.
WHAT IS: To complete a service at the org, you must write a success story. If you refuse or write one that is negative, the standard action is to handle you, either in review or ethics, to fix what is wrong. There are cases where this fix up does indeed correct something that was done wrong and which was contrary to standard tech. However, there are cases where the thing done wrong was correct per standard tech and is therefore unremediable, and cases where the course or auditing action was either unnecessary or not of great interest to the person. In these situations, a bad success story launches one into endless unnecessary or upsetting repair or ethics actions. So you always find something nice to say and write a PR success story unless you know that you're on firm ground in complaining that the auditor or supervisor has violated standard tech.
WHAT ISN'T: There is no way to evaluate the quality of service being delivered or even to determine if an action is positive or detrimental based on these enforced success stories. You'll get glowing success stories even on backwards or unnecessary actions unless the person is so upset that he doesn't give a damn anymore. There are real success stories, both unsolicited ones and ones that are written on completing something which really did have a magical effect on the person. But there is no way to separate out the wheat from the chaff.
It would not be a bad idea to have people rate the quality and effectiveness of the services delivered, like they do at some restaurants. Perhaps this should be done by checking boxes on a slip handed to you by the success officer and then placed into an anonymous voting box. Maybe the success officer should ask the person if he was happy with the service or wants something handled without pushing at him or insisting on anything. And then maybe he should ask the person if he feels like writing a success story, and should also have a big sign posted behind him saying that people are never required to write success stories.
With this, the success stories you got might really mean something. And if the voting slips were compiled on a weekly basis and the averages were computed, you would have a real gauge of what the public thought of your services.
WHAT IS: Per Scientology Policy, managers must manage exclusively by statistics. If the courseroom ceiling has caved in and the students are bleeding on the floor, the solution is to have them stay late so that the Scientology Academy will meet its quota of student points and course completions. Well, perhaps I am exaggerating. Most instructors would indeed put aside their fixed ideas and work like mad to care for their students in an emergency. But the stats would indeed go down and somewhere in upper management, there would be an executive who would refuse to be reasonable about any justification for downstats (as per policy) and some heads would roll.
WHAT ISN'T: Management by statistics alone is basically insane. It is a fixed idea that interferes with looking at what you are really doing. Its not that you shouldn't watch the stats, every successful corporation knows that you must keep graphs of production, encourage the uptrends, and remedy the downtrends. You can really make an organization fly by finding out what changed just before a radical shift in a graph. But it is only one of many indicators that monitor the performance of an organization and predict its long range expectations. Things such as employee moral, customer satisfaction, the potential depletion of non-renewable resources, and improving the product are all highly important.
As a staff member, every problem you can't solve or situation that you can't confront is handled by getting the stats (statistics) up with the idea that this will lead to the expansion of Scientology which in turn will result in the eventual solution of all problems and social ills. This is then used to justify committing overts on public and other staff members and that leads to the idea becoming fixed because they would have to face the overts if they let go of it.
The biggest mistake is to force the stats up when they start to collapse because this hides the real reason the stats are collapsing and eventually makes it impossible to spot what was messed up. For example, when the insane idea of harassing the student for MUs (Misunderstood words) every time he moved an inch while studying in the course room was put in, the academy stats collapsed. If they had been able to confront a down stat and tried to find out what had changed, they could have spotted this error right away and fixed it. Instead, supervisors got the stats back up by making the remaining students stay late etc. Of course the stat went into a slow downward collapse anyway so it didn't even work in the long term. A cute side note is that Ron used to tap his foot while studying, so in the Flag courserooms, this was known as the one body motion you could do without the supervisor hounding you to death.
WHAT IS: The supervisor isn't supposed to evaluate, interpret, or explain the course materials to the student. This is a reasonable idea. The student should find out for himself.
WHAT ISN'T: Per current policy, the supervisor does not need to be trained on the materials he's supervising. He often has no idea what the students are learning. If the student needs help, all the supervisor can do is robotically ask for MUs, often on words he himself does not know the meaning of. This is pure idiocy.
In the old days, we had instructors who knew their materials backwards and forwards and who cared about the students. The rules kept them from spouting off and overwhelming the student with too much evaluation but they weren't taken absolutely and the supervisor could help a lot, finding other references, giving examples from his experience, explaining lightly about things that weren't on the students course etc. If the student is studying, for example, level I (problems processing), the instructor should not be telling him the theory of the level or how to run the processes. It's in the students materials and he really should study it for himself. But the problems material also mentions GPMs (Goals Problem Masses) and that's not on the students level and he's not going to be auditing it without much more study, but he may need a few words of explanation and a pat on the back to get him going again on the materials that do pertain to his level.
WHAT IS: Current Scientology study technology tends to specialize in handling MUs and doing demonstrations of things in clay. These are useful techniques. Sometimes its enough, especially for adults who already have a great deal of knowledge and are doing a course with a great deal of enthusiasm.
WHAT ISN'T: This is totally inadequate for use in schools. The 1950s view was much broader and actually highlights how bad the current approach is. The basic Scientology idea on the whole topic is that understanding comes from affinity, reality, and communication (ARC). They still know this, but they have forgotten how to apply it. First and foremost, you need to get the students to like a subject. An interested student will learn the subject despite a bad teacher. You need to promote free and open communication about the subject, especially between the students (currently discouraged in the CofS). You need to see and examine things and try things out to build reality. You need to look through the materials multiple times rather than just working forward through a checksheet robotically. As a substitute for experience, you need to sit and imagine what you're going to do and how you're going to handle anything that could go wrong. And you need to decide that you invented the subject to make it your own and get it fully into your own universe (yes Ron actually tells students to do this on a 1954 tape).
WHAT IS: Training people with force makes robots who can't think with the data they have learned. This was well known in the 1950s. Pounding the data into the students head is totally contrary to all Scientology basics. But the original Class VIII auditor's course was taught by tossing the students off the side of the ship whenever they flubbed. "The auditor is trying to kill the PC, OVERBOARD 3 TIMES" was a common CS (Case Supervisor Instructions after reviewing a session done by the auditor).
WHAT ISN'T: The impact of these overwhelmed and unthinking CLASS VIIIs pretty much destroyed the subject within a few months. The entire backbone of trained auditors and old timers in the subject was destroyed. One org had about 50 trained auditors on staff (both shifts, including trained auditors who were doing other posts) just before they arrived (fall 1968) and only had a handful by mid-1969.
These original Class VIIIs, by the way, were not evil people. They all had intentions to help and to save the world. They had simply been turned, temporarily, into dramatizing psychotics. Most of them regretted it later. Some of them are busily sacrificing themselves for the sake of Scientology in a misguided effort to make amends (Artie Maren for example). Others started running freezone splinter groups. Many of them don't audit anymore.
WHAT IS: Standard Tech (everybody doing the same thing the same way without variation) was introduced by the Class VIII course. It is continually promoted as the ultimate in technical perfection.
WHAT ISN'T: Standard Technology does not mean the same thing as either correct technology or high quality technology. What standard tech really meant was that the same error was repeated consistently on everybody. This does have benefits for research since it makes it easier to see what is wrong with the tech. Unfortunately, this research gain is mostly wasted if you have a fixed idea about the tech already being perfect.
The introduction of standard tech caused a total collapse of Scientology in 1969. Luckily, it did make many of the basic errors visible so that eventually, when the screw-ups could no longer be ignored (late 1970), the worst faults were corrected and the subject rebounded.
They should have put standard tech in carefully and watched it with an eagle eye. If we hadn't had the fanaticism and the insistence on being right and the training by force, we could have spotted the errors in the tech within a few months and retained our backbone of sane and experienced auditors and executives. Instead, the subject fell into the hands (by and large) of fanatics and incompetents.
Even as the theory of auditing was getting straightened out and improving in the early 70s, the skill level of auditors was crashing because of the disappearance of the old timers, the gross mistakes on how to run a course, and the heavy threats and invalidation which were being brought to bear on students and auditors. The TRs and metering skills of an old Class IV cannot be found short of Class XII (if at all) in modern Scientology.
I remember doing the "dating drill" one time in the late 70s. This drill has nothing to do with picking up girls. It consists of the coach writing a complex date on a slip of paper and hiding it and then you try and find the precise date through e-meter reactions alone. I tossed the coach in the chair and pretty much read the date straight off of her with total accuracy in less than a minute. The sea org instructor didn't like this. I looked at the PC instead of the meter. I pleasantly asked questions instead of barking at the PC. I looked at her with a friendly and confident manner instead of drilling her with a death stare. These were all grievous faults. It took weeks for my skills to recover after having one of those incompetents on my back for five minutes.